News & Updates

Highlights from Bridger Wilderness Hot Spot 2022

Haley and Gary - July 19, 2022

The Bridger Wilderness rests within the Wind River Mountains and extends 80 miles along the Continental Divide, holding the headwaters of the Green River. Home to 7 out of 10 of the world’s largest glaciers, the landscape is continuously breathtaking with hundreds of high alpine lakes, glacial cirques and wide sweeping valleys. The highest point in Wyoming, Gannett Peak rests on the shared boundary with Fitzpatrick Wilderness offering mountaineers a great and memorable challenge. With elevations ranging above 13,000 feet, winter weather is always just a breath away, the combination of elevation and potential cold working together to create a truly wild feeling throughout the Wilderness. 600 miles of trails await hikers and horseback riders who wish to temporarily lose themselves in this landscape of granite and endless hidden gems of lakes and creeks.

The main impacts that the Bridger Wilderness is experiencing are centered primarily around the massive increase in visitation, specifically from backpackers. The Pinedale Ranger District of the USDA Forest Service is currently dealing with specific impacts such as visitors camping too close to lakes and trails, human waste, improper campfire management, and altitude preparedness. The Friends of Bridger-Teton and the Wind River Wilderness Alliance, along with the Pinedale Ranger District, feel that the exponential growth in visitation is due to the popularity that the Bridger Wilderness has gained through social media, and specifically through geotagging. 

A community gathering to kick off the Hot Spot

A ranger representing the Bridger-Teton National Forest at a local community event

Community members brainstorming trail signage ideas for a new local trail

In June 2022, the Subaru/Leave No Trace Teams traveled to Pinedale, Wyoming to work with the USDA Forest Service and its partner organizations, the Friends of the Bridger-Teton and the Wind River Wilderness Alliance to address the impacts happening in the Bridger Wilderness through Leave No Trace workshops, public outreach, community ideation sessions, and more!

Watch the short reel below to see some of the highlights of this Hot Spot:

Learn more about upcoming Hot Spots and the program in general here. We hope to see you at a future Hot Spot!

By the Subaru/Leave No Trace Teams. For over 20 years these teams have provided tangible solutions to serious issues facing our outside space and reach over 15 million people every year. Learn more about the important work of our mobile education teams.  Proud partners of this program include Subaru of AmericaREIEagles Nest Outfitters, ThuleFjällrävenThe Coleman Company and Klean Kanteen.

Let’s protect and enjoy our natural world together

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